Severe Weather Awareness Week continues - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Severe Weather Awareness Week continues

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This monument to the Flood of 1994 in Albany reminds people for the need to be aware of severe weather. This monument to the Flood of 1994 in Albany reminds people for the need to be aware of severe weather.
A close up of one of the 14 warning sirens in Dougherty County. A close up of one of the 14 warning sirens in Dougherty County.
A NOAA Weather Radio.  A weather radio picks up the latest warnings from the National Weather Service on a special frequency. A NOAA Weather Radio. A weather radio picks up the latest warnings from the National Weather Service on a special frequency.
The Flint River runs a little high.  Persistent rains have raised the level by several feet in the last week. The Flint River runs a little high. Persistent rains have raised the level by several feet in the last week.

By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Every year thousands of people pass by the monument a few feet from the Civic Center and hardly give it a glance.  It marks the day that life in Albany changed forever - July 7th, 1994.

That day, the Flint River rose to its record level of 43 feet.  Flooding is one of the many weather hazards that South Georgians face.

Jim Vaught, the Dougherty County Emergency Management Director said, "the number one concern is your severe weather, which is really your severe thunderstorms.  And the possibility that some of those thunderstorms turn into tornadoes."

The Flood of 1994 was our area's most damaging weather event, but severe weather is fairly common.  Only a few weeks ago, damaging winds ripped through part of the area.  But it's not just severe thunderstorms that are a problem.

"It seems to be a little bit colder and people are wearing the jackets now," said Vaught.

With the persistent pattern of lows coming across the northern Gulf this season and cold weather in place, ice and snow have hit the area.  No matter the season, preparation can be the key to avoiding tragedy.

After the Flood of 1994, the downtown monument was erected to honor those who lost their lives, their livelihoods and those who volunteered to re-build the city after the flood.  But the goal of emergency management officials is to make sure that tragedies like this one never happen again.

This pole nestled in some trees off Westover Boulevard could save your life.  It's one of 14 warning sirens in Dougherty County and it's part of a three pronged approach to keeping you safe.  The second is easily accessible from your computer.  It's called Code Red.

"We encourage people to sign up for that code red if they have not already done that.  That will give you early warning from the National Weather Service out of Tallahassee," said Vaught.

And if neither of those two is available you can always rely on a NOAA Weather Radio.

Weather radios pick up the latest alerts from the Weather Service.  Regardless of how you get your warnings, emergency management officials say that the best way to stay safe is to have a plan and to follow it.

Vaught said, "we'd like you to sit down with the members of your family and decide what you're going to do should you have severe weather."

By following a few simple steps, residents in South Georgia can avoid becoming victims.

If you want to sign up for Code Red, you can do go here or to the NEWS page at this web site.

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